Tribune Story on the Catholic Vote: Biased, Misleading
Several sources are quoted, and all of them have one thing in common: all were Obama supporters. Admittedly one, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Steve Blaha, didn’t say for whom he voted. But it was clear that he wanted Catholics to blow off the abortion issue. According to the Tribune Blaha “said while voting, it was important for Catholics to consider all concerns for life: the unborn, the sick and the elderly.” And further:
“It’s important to weigh which questions and issues have the greatest impact on life,” Blaha said. “At the end of the day it is up to each Catholic to discern what is reality and how do I live out my faith in this context.”Even worse, the article quotes Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats, as saying “During his campaign, Obama said, ‘nobody is pro-abortion,’” Whelan said. “He succeeded in articulating the abortion issue better than McCain.”
In reality, Obama has been not merely pro-abortion, but a pro-abortion extremist, favoring the Freedom of Choice Act, which would, according to Pro-Life Wisconsin:
. . . eliminate laws on informed consent, parental consent, abortion clinic regulations, conscience protection laws, government programs that fund and promote childbirth without funding abortion, laws prohibiting certain abortion procedures (e.g., partial birth abortion), laws requiring that abortions only be performed by licensed physicians, etc.Anybody who doubts this characterization needs merely to read the Act.
The article quoted nobody who argued that Catholics should oppose Obama because of his position on abortion.
Even worse, the article implied there was some sort of groundswell of support for Obama among Catholics. But anybody can simply look at the Pew Forum report that the article cites to see that this wasn’t so.
While the exit polls used show a net shift of five percentage points in favor of Obama relative to the Kerry vote in 2004 (due to sampling and other errors, this doesn’t exactly match the real vote shift), Catholics showed a seven point shift.
But more striking, white Catholics showed only a four point shift.
The biggest shift of any religious group was the “unaffiliated,” who favored Obama by eight points more than they favored Kerry. As is always the case in recent presidential elections, the Democrat was the choice of secular people.
In fact, white Catholics favored McCain over Obama by 52 to 47 points.
Further, the black and Hispanic Catholics who gave Obama his margin are generally conservative on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. In 2008, they didn’t vote predominantly on these issues, although in California where it was possible to vote on gay marriage, strong majorities of blacks and Hispanics voted against it.
The Tribune story reflected the liberal position on Catholics and abortion: don’t take it seriously. It isn’t an important issue. Vote on other things. Assume that the Democrats are best for the poor. Killing over a million unborn babies a year isn’t something that you should worry about.
That’s the standard liberal take on the issue. An article in the Tribune should have also included people on the other side.